Barbara Kruger has always been ahead of her time. Before there was the internet and consumption at our fingertips, before endless scrolling through a lush forest of advertisements and alluring promises of a better life, hell before Supreme used her typeface style for their infamous logo, Kruger was holding a mirror up for us to face our most capitalistic desires. She is legendary for her brevity and wit, her boldness and her dark humor. Her career is based on text being placed in large-format and immersive installations, often overwhelming the viewer with slogan-esque proclamations and guilty-pleasure innuendos that sort of make you feel, well, guilty for your own consumer impulses.

Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. is the largest retrospective of Kruger’s work in nearly two decades, and it feels at home at LACMA, down the street from UCLA where Kruger has been an instructor for quite some time. The exhibition features Kruger’s large-scale vinyl room immersions, video work, and audio soundscapes that are placed throughout LACMA, sometimes surprising and sneaking up on you and other times overwhelming you with prophetic declarations. That Kruger was neither a street or graffiti artist is vital in that her use of placement and scale seems to have influenced so many artists in those genres, that her use of words and text were almost braggadocious in intent and critique makes her one of the most important American artists of the last half century. LACMA is the rightful place to let her work breathe. —Evan Pricco